Are You Really Ready for the Next Big California Earthquake? from Les and Elaine

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Falling debris, power outages, ruptured pipes and fires are just a few of the catastrophic things that can happen following a large earthquake. How prepared is your family?

Temblors occur on a daily basis in this state. They are a sobering reminder to Californians that large earthquakes could happen at any moment, and we need to be ready to take care of ourselves for several days following a disaster.

October 17, 2014 marked 25 years since the Loma Prieta earthquake struck Northern California. Bay Area residents will never forget the harrowing 6.9 magnitude quake that claimed 63 lives. Those not living in the area witnessed the event on television when the 15 second quake struck at 5:04 p.m. during the airing of the 1989 World Series.

Northern California residents were recently reminded of Loma Prieta when a 6.1 magnitude quake struck American Canyon in the North Bay Area during the early morning hours on Aug. 24, 2014. The devastating quake caused severe damage to buildings, homes and infrastructure.


In 1994, during the early morning hours on January 17, Los Angeles was rocked by a magnitude 6.7 earthquake. The infamous Northridge quake killed 33 people.

In Southern California, a 4.1 earthquake that struck near the Salton Sea in May was felt in several cities in San Diego and Riverside counties. Several small quakes also struck Northern and Southern California in early May and June, but too far apart to be linked.

A 4.0-magnitude earthquake in the Northern California rattled nerves in the East Bay earlier this week. Although the fault that produced the earthquake in Fremont is not expected to change the likelihood of another major quake on the same fault, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist said a major earthquake could happen at any time and residents should be prepared.

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This is also a good time to review tips from the American Red Cross:

  • Become aware of fire evacuation and earthquake safety plans for all of the buildings you occupy regularly.
  • Pick safe places in each room of your home, workplace and/or school. A safe place could be under a piece of furniture or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases or tall furniture that could fall on you.
  • Practice “drop, cover and hold on” in each safe place. If you do not have sturdy furniture to hold on to, sit on the floor next to an interior wall and cover your head and neck with your arms.
  • Keep a flashlight and sturdy shoes by each person’s bed in case the earthquake strikes in the middle of the night.
  • Make sure your home is securely anchored to its foundation.
  • Bolt and brace water heaters and gas appliances to wall studs.
  • Bolt bookcases, china cabinets and other tall furniture to wall studs.
  • Hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, away from beds, couches and anywhere people sleep or sit.
  • Brace overhead light fixtures.
  • Install strong latches or bolts on cabinets. Large or heavy items should be closest to the floor.
  • Learn how to shut off the gas valves in your home and keep a wrench handy for that purpose.
  • Learn about your area’s seismic building standards and land use codes before you begin new constructionKeep and maintain an emergency supplies kit in an easy-to-access location.

Find a full Earthquake Safety Checklist here.

Or view more here: Stay Safe: Everything You Need To Know In An Emergency Is Now A Tap Away regarding an awesome app from the Red Cross.

What about your pets? June was National Pet Preparedness Month. Pets need disaster kits equipped with food, water and medication.


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